December 29, 2016

From QCWA Headquarters

QCWA Bulletin 2016-024 - QCWA Provides Donation To Support ARISS Program

December 28, 2016: The ARISS Team is very pleased to announce that the Quarter Century Wireless Association, Inc. (QCWA) has made a notable contribution to support the development and certification of the new ARISS radio system to be outfitted on the International Space Station (ISS).

Ken Oelke, QCWA President, hopes the funding will be a catalyst for individuals and other groups around the globe to follow suit and donate to the radio system cause. He further commented: "I talked at length with Rosalie White, K1STO, ARISS International Secretary-Treasurer about ARISS operating activities overall, some things the international team is working on for the hardware upgrade, and a little about the many complex and expensive steps required to be able to launch hardware to the ISS. Based on this, I truly believe this is a great opportunity for the QCWA to shine in the Amateur Radio Community, and to carry out QCWA's mandate as described in its constitution."

The ARISS hardware team has progressed well in the past year with the new radio system development. But moving forward as quickly as possible became much more pressing after the October 2016 failure of the 17-year-old Ericsson VHF hand held in the ISS Columbus Module. The radio failure shut down 2-meter APRS operation, widely used by the amateur radio community, and ARISS operations now must be carried out in the Russian Service Module, requiring astronauts to travel from one end of the ISS to the other (and back) to perform a 10-minute school contact.

ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, thanked the QCWA for their contribution and stated: "This funding has arrived at a most critical time. Our radio system design is nearly complete and we're about to start fabrication and the very expensive hardware certification effort." He also noted: "It is fantastic to see amateur radio groups, like QCWA donating to ARISS as it shows our larger benefactors and potential future sponsors, including foundations and corporations, that the amateur radio community has 'skin in the game' and is willing to sacrifice to further the ARISS cause."

Rosalie thanked Ken for his personal effort in explaining ARISS's hardware needs and goals to the QCWA Board. She added: "QCWA members now understand it is important to hams to have the ARISS radio for APRS and other modes, and it has caused a number of hams and their local clubs to donate toward helping to get the radio system upgraded.

Individuals and groups interested in helping to make the ARISS hardware reach the ISS can go to the AMSAT Website,, and give a tax deductible donation by clicking the ARISS Donate button or go to the ARISS web site,, and click on the donate button. Donors giving $100 or more are awarded with a beautiful ARISS Challenge Coin.

Those wishing to make a much more substantial contribution should contact Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, at

About ARISS; Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues. With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums. Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies and amateur radio. For more information, visit,, and

Ken Oelke, VE6AFO
President, Quarter Century Wireless Association, Inc.